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UFC: Ronda Rousey Extended Three Rounds; Anderson Silva Breaks Leg

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LAS VEGAS-It was a bad night for Brazilians, but a good night for Rowdy Ronda Rousey who pretty much controlled Miesha Tate to retain the UFC bantamweight title on Saturday.

Riverside’s Rousey (8-0) was finally tested and it was her archenemy Tate (13-5) who extended the champion before more than 14,000 fans jeering and cheering at the MGM Grand. UFC 168 also saw former champion Anderson Silva lose once again by technical knockout to Chris Weidman when he snapped his shin bone kicking the champion.

When Rousey emerged from the tunnel into the arena a chorus of boos greeted her as she had a scowl that basically said “I don’t give a hoot about your boos.”

“I enjoy the boos,” said Rousey.

After enduring a humiliating experience with The Ultimate Fighter experience, Rousey was ready to take it out on Tate. Boy did she.

Tate immediately was bludgeoned and bloodied in the first round by the powerful Rousey who was able to toss the challenger to the ground numerous times. Several right hands to Tate’s face resulted in a bloody nose and several small cuts. An arm bar attempt was thwarted by Tate, but other than that, it was all Rousey. But, Tate became the first female fighter to last more than one round.

Rousey dominated the second round too and immediately grabbed an arm bar that Tate was able to survive. A vicious hip toss by Rousey took Tate to the ground again where the blonde champion dominated on top. Nothing Tate tried worked. Rousey used a ground and pound on Tate and kept her largely ineffective. Another attempted arm bar by Rousey seemed to spell the end for Tate. But once again the challenger made it until the end of round two. Tate had survived another round.

Washington’s Tate walked back to her corner looking weary but the fans cheered her loudly. In round three everything would change as the champion Rousey immediately took down the challenger and maneuvered on the ground for one of her arm bars. There was no escape this time as Tate tapped out at 58 seconds of round three.

“She’s a better fighter tonight,” said Tate who attempted to shake Rousey’s hand but was ignored. That elicited even more boos.

Rousey explained that Tate and her team disrespected the Californian’s team during the TUF filming and would not accept a handshake until apologies were rendered to Team Rousey.

“But she’s an incredible fighter,” said Rousey after the fight. “I respect Miesha very much as a competitor.”

Rousey won Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night according to Dana White. She will be returning to the Octagon in February.

Weidman wins again

UFC middleweight champion Weidman (11-0) was the favorite after knocking out Brazil’s Silva (33-6) in their first meeting. This time Silva knocked himself out of the fight when he broke his left foot kicking Weidman’s leg in the second round. It was a gruesome scene watching Silva’s dangling foot on the replays.

“He’s still known as the greatest of all time,” said Weidman of Silva.

Weidman dominated the first round after taking down the former champion. Silva spent most of the five minutes on his back as the champion rained elbows and fists. But Silva survived only to lose by a brutal injury.

“Slowly but slowly people are going to believe in me,” Weidman said.

Other Bouts

Former heavyweight champion Josh Barnett (33-7) ran into a knee while attempting a take-down of Travis Brown (16-1-1), then was knocked unconscious by four successive elbows to the head at 1:00 of round one. It was a devastating setback for Fullerton’s Barnett who had fought his way back to heavyweight contention by knocking out Frank Mir. Browne was unapologetic about his victory.

“There’s a new breed of fighter,” said Browne who is originally from Hawaii. “I’m a blue collar dude.”

Veteran Jim Miller (23-4) showed Brazil’s Fabricio Camoes (14-8-1) he knows a thing or two about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu too as he submitted the submission expert with an arm bar at 3:43 of round one. It came as a big surprise to many. “I had a lot of fantastic jujitsu instructors,” said New Jersey’s Miller.

Dustin Poirier (15-3) softened Brazil’s Diego Brandao’s body before powering right hands and lefts to end the fight at 4:54 of the first round of the featherweight fight. Poirier was tactful at first as Brandao fired wide lefts and rights. The body shots changed the tone of the fight. “I busted my butt for this show,” said Poirier. “I’m living the dream.”

Uriah Hall (9-4) opened the middleweight fight with a flying knee that immediately caught and dropped veteran Chris Leben (22-11). After mostly moving away from Leben the younger fighter fired a perfect right to Leben’s chin and down he went. The first round ended but Leben told the

ringside doctor he was done. “Give it up to Chris Leben, you know he’s a warrior,” said Hall. “It’s a hurt business.”

In a battle of southpaws it was Michael Johnson (15-8) who emerged victorious with a one-two punch knockout of Brazil’s uber muscular Gleison Tibau (37-10) at 1:32 of round two. Johnson pounced on Tibau once he went down and the referee stopped the lightweight fight quickly.

Brazil’s William Macario (8-1) entered with bleached blonde hair but exited with red hair after a bloody mess of a fight with Missouri’s Bobby Voelker (24-11) to win by unanimous decision after three rounds. Macario landed vicious shots from the opening round but Voelker withstood every blow despite suffering a possible broken nose and cuts over the along both eyes. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Macario.

After two nip and tuck rounds Robbie Peralta (17-4) stepped on the gas and blasted away on Arizona’s Estevan Payan (14-5) to win by knockout at 12 seconds into the third and final round in a featherweight fight. “I decided to finish him off,” said Escondido” Peralta.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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